10 April 2021

How long would it be before someone found your dead body?

In Norway it took nine years - for a man who died in his apartment.
The man, who was in his 60s, had been married more than once and also had children, according to the state broadcaster NRK.

But according to neighbours he kept himself to himself and when they didn’t see him they thought he had moved or been taken to an institution. He was found only when the caretaker requested police open the apartment so he could carry out maintenance work.

Police believe the man died in April 2011, based on a carton of milk and a letter that were found in his apartment. An autopsy showed he died of natural causes. His pension was stopped in 2018 when the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV) could not get in touch with him but his bills continued to be paid automatically from his bank account.


  1. This was a concern to me as I don't work and now live alone in an apartment where I have no local family, where my rent is autopay, and I'm a natural introvert who is comfortable at home (and have chronic fatigue as well as various other medical issues that prevent me from going out much) so, as nice as my neighbors are, they probably wouldn't be concerned if they didn't see me around. I mostly just didn't want to traumatize whoever was unlucky enough to one day find me months after I died and was well into, let's just say, not looking my best AKA nightmare fuel! Not to sound like a commercial but that's the reason I signed up for a free app (Snug) that I check in to every day (at a time of my choosing). If I don't check in, they will send an auto-text to the contact I gave them (in my case, a relative.) That's the free version. The pay version I think will also perform other services like, I think, contacting your local police or something of the sort. It's been a real comfort to me. I hope it actually works like it should, should I die.

    1. I think every senior living alone should have a "buddy system" in place involving family, neighbors, friends, church or club acquaintances. One resource to consider is if one's town/city has a "senior center" of some sort; such groups often offer phone contact checkups as well as the meals-on-wheels and ride-to-the-doctor etc that are more common services.

  2. Lesson learned; if a Norwegian doesn't say anything for eight or nine years, check in on them.

  3. From TheLocal.no (Norwegian news in English) -

    Last year 27 people were found in Oslo, Asker or Bærum seven days or more after dying. The year before the number was 32 people. Of these, one was dead for almost seven months before being discovered.

    - Globally,this sort of thing apparently happens all the time.

  4. Reminds me of those folks who almost never come to church, but then act all offended when they ARE sick, but no one misses them.


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